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Countdown to Darwin Day
Old 02-05-2009, 11:45 AM   #1
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Countdown to Darwin Day

Darwin Day Celebration

February 12 is Darwin Day, a day of celebration of science and reason. My kind of holiday!

Wisconsin public radio has been playing a number of good programs on evolutionary science. Very enjoyable. I learned that Tibetans that have lived for 4-5000 years up high have evolved a different blood chemistry to account for the lack of oxygen, and children born without that chemistry are far less likely to survive.

Learn something new for Darwin Day and post it here.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:51 AM   #2
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Darwin Day Celebration

February 12 is Darwin Day, a day of celebration of science and reason.

Learn something new for Darwin Day and post it here.
I did not know about Darwin Day. Jeez, now I have homework to do.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:14 PM   #3
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Evolutionary biology is quite an amazing thing. If you have never heard or read much about it and like reading non-fiction, check it out sometime.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:35 PM   #4
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Evolutionary biology is quite an amazing thing. If you have never heard or read much about it and like reading non-fiction, check it out sometime.
Here's one of the more interesting things I've read recently:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/10/sc...nd-evolve.html

... about the very recent development of lactose tolerance (ability
to digest milk). Apparently it's one of the most recent evolutionary
changes (about 3000 years ago).
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:46 PM   #5
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People with sickle cell disease have a lower mortality rate from malaria.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:50 PM   #6
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... about the very recent development of lactose tolerance (ability
to digest milk). Apparently it's one of the most recent evolutionary
changes (about 3000 years ago).
I believe southeast Asians, who were not accustomed to consuming animal milk, suffer from high rates of lactose intolerance. My children, who are 50% SE Asian, seem to have acquired my lactose tolerance given their love for cheese, ice cream and milk.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:58 PM   #7
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People with sickle cell disease have a lower mortality rate from malaria.
Interesting - I never knew there was a potential evolutionary advantage to sickle cell. My SE Asian wife has a relatively rare (in the standard US of A gene pool) hemoglobin E mutation that always scares the docs into thinking she has sickle cell. Then they researched it and found it is fairly common in some SE Asian populations and only results in slight anemia that usually isn't a problem. But malaria is a big problem in parts of SE Asia. So sickle cell or hemoglobin E would tend to offer protection or at least amelioration from malaria? I guess that explains higher rates of sickle cell among africans too.
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Old 02-05-2009, 06:28 PM   #8
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Can we find 200,000 by Feb 12 to wish Darwin a happy 200th birthday?
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Old 02-05-2009, 06:33 PM   #9
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Very interesting article on Darwin in this month's National Geographic

Darwin's First Clues — National Geographic Magazine
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Old 02-07-2009, 08:00 AM   #10
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It's about time we started a "celebration of science and reason". I'm delighted!
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Old 02-07-2009, 02:11 PM   #11
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I'll strap on a rocket assisted take off to celebrate the day!
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Old 02-07-2009, 03:03 PM   #12
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Wow. I never realized that Darwin and Abe Lincoln were born on the same day...
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